Julie over at Another Chance Ranch has decided to start the Thankful Thursday edition of blogging. I'm going to join her on her mission to remember all the things I have to be thankful for. At least I'm going to give it a try. I'm not good at remembering these weekly or daily posts, but at this time in my life, I need to remember reasons I have to be thankful. So, it's comng at a very good time. So, for today, here's my reasons to be thankful.
I am thankful for my husband. I met Erwin on ICQ back in 1998 and weformed a true friendship which quickly advanced to the stages of 'something more'. When he made plans to visit me in America 10 months after our first contact, neither of us was sure where it would lead, though I was hoping that our times in real-life would equal the fun we had together online. We spent three weeks traveling the Western US together and got to know each other on a more personal and intimate basis. The last week we shared was spent with my son who was 4 years old at the time. The three of us fell easily and cozily into our "family life" and one of the very hardest things I have done in my life was to say goodbye to Erwin at the end of our three weeks together. It was then that I knew I was in love with this Dutch man, and that I didn't want to live without him in my life. He was then, and still is, a man true to his word, someone who stands beside you and believes in justice. He is a good person.
Our long distance relationship lasted 2 years with trips back and forth between America and Europe, thousands of dollars in phone calls, and daily chats and web-cam visits, before we took the leap and decided to make a move to actually be together. It was a jump I was all than more willing to take with him by my side. But it wasn't without difficulties, as I had a son and it would mean Erwin becoming not only a partner, but a father. My son, at five years old, would finally have a dad, someone who could be his hero, teach him all about guy things, and give him the fatherly-love he was craving and deserving of. Erwin stood up to the challenge, and Kaeden got his dad. As Kaeden and I said our goodbyes to my family and America, it was a bizarre experience. I was thrilled for the life I was about to embark upon, but saddened to be leaving all I had come to know and love. I didn't know what would await me when I entered the Netherlands, the new culture, the new foods, the new language, and a partner to share every day with. It was exciting to say the least.
So, I have been led to this moment in time, with Erwin by my side, now my husband with another child to share between us. The times have not been easy. I have had difficulties adjusting to life in a foreign land. I have gone through depression. We have been through a diagnosis of autism and ADHD with Kaeden, and that has been the hardest slap to our relationship as a couple, but also as a family. Still, Erwin has stuck by my side. He has continued to love me, to love our children, and to provide a comfortable lifefor all of us. He has not run out the door and left me behind, but proved his love and faithfulness to me time and time again by staying with me through the hard times, when it would have been much easier to just tell me goodbye. At this point in time, our marriage is having some difficulties. We are not standing together as a couple, not supporting each other as we should, not giving each other the care we both need and deserve to have to be happy in our lives. We are going through a really rough spot. But the thing I am thankful for, is that I know that my husband still stands by my side. Whatever problems we are encountering, I know we can make it better becasue we are committed to each other. I trust my husband. I know that he wants the same life as I do, filled with happiness and fun and comfort. I know that we can work through this valley and come out on top, because we have made it through so much together already. We have a history of making it work beyond all odds. And we will again.
I am thankful for my husband. He goes off to work each day to bring us the comfortable lifestyle we live. We take vacations, we don't want for any of the necessitites in life. We share family movie nights and family game nights. We take walks in the woods and attend air-shows and car races and parent teacher meetings and psychology appointments...and we do that together, as a pair, with our children by our side. In the ten years we have shared our lives, never have I worried that he wouldn't be there to kiss me in the morning. Never have I worried that I wouldn't have a home in which to live. Never ahve I worried that I wouldn't have food to feed my children or clothing to cover our bodies. He is stability in it's finest. He is my rock.
We are going to work on making our marriage mentally stronger. I know that I have much to be thankful for, but for today, I need to remind myself that it is my husband. Without him, I couldn't stand on my own two feet. And I don't want to have to. I love my husband with a depth I didn't know was possible. I would do anything for him, for us, and for our family. And today, I will take the first step in making sure that I let my husband know that I am thankful for him. He deserves to know it. Erwin, I am thankful for you.